Chevron In Talks With Rosneft

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Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, confirmed it is discussing opportunities in Russia with OAO Rosneft, that country's largest oil company, after the deadline to extend talks on a proposed $16 billion share exchange between BP and Rosneft passed.

California-based Chevron (COP) and Rosneft reached a deal last year to form an exploration venture to extract oil and natural gas from the Black Sea, but that partnership has struggled to take flight and there have been rumors in recent months Chevron was mulling an exit from the venture.

Press reports did not mention whether Rosneft and Chevron were specifically discussing the latter replacing BP (BP) in the proposed Arctic drilling alliance that was the cornerstone of the BP/Rosneft share exchange, but a Citigroup note published last week said Chevron could be a potential replacement for BP.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS=A), the largest U.S. and European oil companies, respectively, have also been mentioned as possible partners for Rosneft in the Arctic alliance. Russia's Arctic region could hold up to 100 billion barrels of reserves, Bloomberg News reported.